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  • WisBar News
    May 23, 2019

    Marquette Admissions: Welcome to 155 New Lawyers

    They are the 155 new Wisconsin lawyers, Class of 2019 graduates of the Marquette University Law School. Welcome to the practice of law!

    Shannon Green

    Aurusa Kabani and family

    Aurusa Kabani of Euless, Texas, center, poses with her family for a photo at the new lawyer name wall after becoming a lawyer.

    See more photos of the event on the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Facebook Page.

    May 23, 2019 – Family members and friends gathered in the Wisconsin Supreme Court Hearing Room to watch their child, cousin, spouse, friend, or colleague take the final steps in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.

    Before the Supreme Court, in five separate ceremonies, 155 new Wisconsin lawyers – new alumni of Marquette University Law School – took the Attorney’s Oath, and listened to words of wisdom.

    Charles Polk Stands

    Charles Polk’s image shows on his mother’s phone as he stands as his sister, a Missouri lawyer, acts as movant in the 11 a.m. ceremony on May 20, 2019.

    “You have all worked hard to be here today,” said Chief Justice Pat Roggensack. She has a quote on her office door from Eleanor Roosevelt: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

    It is important, said Chief Justice Roggensack, to not forget the dreams that brought you here today. “Follow them where it leads you,” she said.

    The graduates also heard from State Bar President Chris Rogers. “Law school is now over,” he said. “You are now embarking on the start of your careers. You can do this, and the Bar will be there to support you.”

    Admissions ceremony Movants

    Curtis Walther, left, stands as three family members act as movants, from left: mother Karla Walther, father Christopher Walther, and (speaking with back to camera) grandfather David Walther, at the 1 p.m. ceremony on May 20, 2019.

    A Veteran, Family Traditions, and Practice Goals

    The new lawyers include Gulf War veteran Stephen DeGuire who, at age 55, is beginning a second career, following his first in the U.S. Navy. He is headed into working in intellectual property law. “This is a very big day for us,” said DeGuire’s father, Marquette Law School Dean Emeritus Frank DeGuire.

    Stephen joins not just his father, but his brother, Frank DeGuire Jr., and nephew, Alex DeGuire, in the profession. All are graduates of Marquette University Law School. “We’ve got quite a family tradition here,” said the elder Frank DeGuire.

    Shannon Green is communications writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. She can be reached by email or by phone at (608) 250-6135.

    Members of Jacob Armellani’s family members attended the ceremony, including his uncle, Owen Phelps. Armellani was a wrestler in college and became interested in law, Phelps said. And he joins three other family members who are lawyers, including one who is a judge in Kansas. “We’ve got one more in law school in Chicago,” Phelps said. Armellani is starting out in corporate law at Appvion in Appleton. And he’s getting married next month. “It’s a big spring for him,” Phelps said.

    Forty-five years ago to the day, Brandon Brown’s grandfather John Schiek was admitted to practice in Wisconsin. Schiek proudly stood as his grandson’s movant, with both celebrating that they are each now Marquette alumni and Wisconsin lawyers. “We’ve had a lot of fun in the last few days,” he said. Brown will stay in Milwaukee to practice in workers’ compensation law.

    Admissions ceremony Movants

    Paulina Fernandez, third from right, and other Marquette University Law School graduates complete the Attorney’s Oath during the 9 a.m. ceremony on May 20, 2019.

    Both Anne O’Meara and Nicholas Nelson are now the fifth generation of lawyers in their families. Garrett Johnson is the first in his family to complete college, let alone law school. Dominic Clark is headed to practice with his father, Timothy Clark in Elm Grove. Abby King traveled from Florida to act as movant for her best friend and brother, Cole Altman.

    There’s Taylor Brisco, headed to New York to work in sports law; both Zeinat Hindi and Lizbeth Free, each of Milwaukee and each starting work in tax law; Jade Hall, starting in June in the Public Defender’s Office in Milwaukee; and Emily Gaertner, seeking to work in criminal law.

    Claudia Ayala

    Claudia Ayala signs the Supreme Court Attorney’s Roll book, the last step in becoming a Wisconsin lawyer.

    Claudia Ayala is headed to practice family immigration law in Milwaukee. She grew up in Texas in a small border town. “I grew up seeing a lot of the injustice happening with immigrants,” she said. “That drove my passion to come to law school.” And on a visit to Wisconsin, she fell in love with the state and with Marquette University.

    Aurusa Kabani of Euless, Texas, took a year off after college, and worked for the Supreme Court of Pakistan – her family’s country of origin. She traveled to nearby countries and realized something. “No matter where I went, sports was a mechanism for communication, even if I couldn’t speak the language,” she said. “I realized I wanted to go into a profession where I could bring people together with a common language of ethics.”

    She chose Marquette University for its sports law certificate program, and she’s interned with the NCAA and in China for a firm working with their football association. Eventually, she’d like to serve as an Olympic arbitrator. “That’s the goal,” she said.

    Her next step is an internship with the Orlando Magic basketball team – and to take the bar exam for New York admission.

    Chue Xiong and Travis Yang

    Chue Xiong and Travis Yang pose for a photo at the name wall after becoming Wisconsin lawyers.

    Travis Yang of Sheboygan is headed to work in general litigation with a firm in Manitowoc. “I found that my passion for reading and writing works well with the law,” he said.

    Chue Xiong of Eau Claire is interested in a small-town practice. He worked with a nonprofit and with a police department, where he became interested in the legal field. The first lawyer in his family, he lived until age 7 in a refugee camp in Thailand – fleeing Laos – before immigrating to the U.S. in 1991. He’s a veteran of the Marine Corps and, an alum of the city’s North High School, has served on the Eau Claire School District Board of Education.

    “I’m very happy,” Xiong said. “And I’m ready for what’s next.”

    Welcome to these New Wisconsin Lawyers

    Cole Altman, Milwaukee

    Aaron R. Anderson, West Allis

    Jacob T. Armellani, Milwaukee

    John Atkisson, Milwaukee

    Claudia Ayala, Waukesha

    Travis Bachofen, Columbus

    Kyle Bailey, Milwaukee

    Lucas R. Baker, Milwaukee

    Katie K. Bakunowicz, Wauwatosa

    Adam Barraza, Milwaukee

    James T. Barrett, Whitefish Bay

    Edgar A. Beltran, Chicago

    Aaron Benz, Milwaukee

    Kathleen Bodenbach, Milwaukee

    Matthew James Borkovec, Milwaukee

    Taylor Brisco, New York, NY

    Brandon J. Brown, Milwaukee

    Zachary Buchta, Milwaukee

    Antonio J. Cannavaro, Providence, Rhode Island

    Ashley Castro, Milwaukee

    Alec F. Cerqueira, Peabody, Massachusetts

    Taylor Chase, Milwaukee

    Khatija Choudhry, Milwaukee

    Dominic L. Clark, Elm Grove

    Killian James Commers, Milwaukee

    Hannah Compton, Milwaukee

    Samantha Connor, Milwaukee

    Mariana Concepcion, Milwaukee

    Joshua R. Cook, Milwaukee

    Stephen C. DeGuire, Mequon

    Jessica Delgado, Eagle Pass, Texas

    William Alexander Demet, Whitefish Bay

    Brayton Marie Deprey, Milwaukee

    Ryan Duffy, Milwaukee

    Lance Duroni, Milwaukee

    Kaitlyn Dvorak, Milwaukee

    Be’Jan Gervais Edmonds, Gary, Indiana

    Elli Ehlen, Burlington

    Emily Rose Endieveri, Glens Falls, New York

    Brett M. Erdmann, Milwaukee

    Paulina Andrea Fernandez, San Antonio, Texas

    Michael A. Forella III, Milwaukee

    Lizbeth Free, Milwaukee

    Emily Kay Gaertner, Milwaukee

    Anna E. Gage, Wauwatosa

    Grace Margaret Gall, Milwaukee

    M’Kenzee K. Galloway, Hemet, California

    Olivia Garman, Milwaukee

    Isabella Krystyna Gentile, Milwaukee

    Andrew C. Goldner, Milwaukee

    Molly A. Goza, Montgomery, Texas

    Elizabeth C. Grabow, Milwaukee

    Matthew R. Gralinski, Waukesha

    Michelle A. Grasso, Buzzard’s Bay, Massachusetts

    Alexandra Gregorski, Milwaukee

    Ian Hackett, Milwaukee

    Jade Hall, Milwaukee

    Katherine Marie Hampel, Milwaukee

    Molly Harding, Milwaukee

    Simone Haugen, Milwaukee

    Alexander Hensley, Milwaukee

    Carlos Hernandez, De Pere

    Zeinat Ata Hindi, Milwaukee

    Erica Imhoff, Reedsburg

    Jad M. Itani, Mequon

    Garrett Tyler Johnson, Milwaukee

    Margaret Johnson, Milwaukee

    Randy Jones, Milwaukee

    Renee Jones, Chicago

    Aurusa Kabani, Euless, Texas

    Daniel J. Kachur, Appleton

    Ryan Kaufman, New Castle, Pennsylvania

    Brooklyn Alyssa Kemp, Mequon

    Michael M. Kennedy II, Milwaukee

    Nicholas W. Kerkman, Milwaukee

    Courtney E. King, Muskego

    Elizabeth Anne King, Milwaukee

    Sara Kirtley, Milwaukee

    Emily Kraemer, West Allis

    David Krienke, Milwaukee

    Tyler Kongslien, Hewitt

    Beau W. Krueger, Sherwood

    Gerald Lalli, Milwaukee

    Anne M. Lally, Milwaukee

    John Lechuga, Chicago

    Emily Grace Loe, Milwaukee

    Jessie Long, Milwaukee

    Yamilett M. Lopez, Milwaukee

    Austin J. Lower, Milwaukee

    Jillian Leigh Lukens, Furlong, Pennsylvania

    Eric Wiseman Lyon, Niagara

    Jordan Lysiak, Milwaukee

    April Kutz Splittgerber, Fort Atkinson

    Fatima Malik, Mequon

    Gilbert Malis, Milwaukee

    Aliya H. Manjee, Milwaukee

    Alexander J. Marsland, Milwaukee

    Maggie McCarthy, Milton

    Matthew Steven McElroy, Milwaukee

    Alexis Merbach, Appleton

    Anne Marie Meulbroek, Indianapolis, Indiana

    Ian Mickelson, Kenosha

    Jonathan Javid Mohamed, Milwaukee

    Riley Murphy, Milwaukee

    Nicholas John Nelson, Milwaukee

    Sarita R. Olson, Milwaukee

    Anne Virginia O’Meara, Milwaukee

    Jehona Osmani, Lemont, Illinois

    Alex Ourada, Milwaukee

    Kelly Owens, Milwaukee

    Zachary Pasker, Milwaukee

    Asia Patterson, Mansfield, Texas

    Jason P. Perkiser, Cedarburg

    John-Richard Peterson, Dallas, Texas

    Charles E. Polk III, St. Louis

    Ian Pomplin, Redgranite

    Megan Pontius, Milwaukee

    Frank J. Portera, Palatine, Illinois

    Jenna N. Proudfit, Milwaukee

    Sergio Maks Quinones, Milwaukee

    Charles Raddatz, Hartland

    Rohit J. Rangarajan, Milwaukee

    Mitchell Raasch, Milwaukee

    Andrew Peter Raymonds, Brookfield

    Mark Paul Ropella, New Berlin

    Samantha Roth, Madison

    William Ruffing, Milwaukee

    Andrew Scarpace, Mequon

    Andrew J. Schlitt, Milwaukee

    Emily Selner, Denmark

    Derek Seyller, Belvidere, Illinois

    Chad Shamali, Milwaukee

    Samuel Simpson, Rockford, Illinois

    Alex Slivinski, Oconomowoc

    Taviss K. Smith, Milwaukee

    Amy Elizabeth Spanczak, Milwaukee

    Kelsey L. Stefka, Grafton

    Shannon Strombom, St. Francis

    Christina Sumer, Milwaukee

    Christina Giovanna Szocka, Milwaukee

    Andrew J. Tenuta, Kenosha

    Aleysha R. Thomas, Hayward, California

    Benjamin Timmerman, Wauwatosa

    Jeroen Valensa, Muskego

    Michael P. Van Kleunen, Milwaukee

    Ryan C. Vargas, Arcadia, California

    Curtis C. Walther, Milwaukee

    Aleah Weber, Tucson, Arizona

    David J. Wenthold, Wauwatosa

    Brenna Wildt, Milwaukee

    Andrew Wood, Port Washington

    Logan A. Wood, Manitowoc

    Chue Xiong, Eau Claire

    Travis L. Yang, Sheboygan

    Jennifer Zima, Milwaukee

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